When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Pink lemonade to be exact.
We’re going to go ahead and get in the Valentine’s Day spirit for the next ten days. If Hallmark has a countdown to Valentine’s Day, well so can we. (Okay, maybe I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic, but Valentine’s Day is a pretty cool holiday so it should be celebrated accordingly).
So lemonade. If that truly were the case, I’d probably have a few quarts of it in my fridge right now. Have you ever hoped and prayed for something for a real long time, and then it didn’t work out like you’d hoped? You didn’t get into the school you wanted, you didn’t get the job you’d dreamed of having, your crush likes someone else, your friends make other plans and don’t invite you, your long-awaited date night didn’t go as planned, you spend countless hours applying to jobs and you hear nothing back. We’ve all been there. We all have different things in our days that just frustrate us and try to get us down. We learn to improvise and go with the flow.
Sometimes though those things all add up, sometimes they keep happening day after day. It isn’t fun, it doesn’t always feel the best, and sometimes it can get you discouraged. Well, as today is ten days until Valentine’s Day (and as I’m writing this, I have the SiriusXM The Highway on, and Die A Happy Man comes on.. Coincidence or not?), if you’ve been having a hard time and all this talk about love and chocolates and candy and roses makes you want to run away and hibernate until Spring, here’s ten things you should always remember.
10. Tomorrow is a new day. Just because things didn’t go as planned today, doesn’t mean tomorrow has to be the same. Tomorrow is a brand new day. The sun comes up every morning, a sign of a new beginning. The other morning before work, I knew it was going to be a sunny day by the looks of the lack of clouds in the sky, so I went and sat outside and watched the sun come up over the field. Mornings can be rushed, and sometimes we forget all of the new opportunities that comes with each sunrise. All the disappointments, regrets, and mistakes you made yesterday? Don’t carry them into the day. Learn from it, and begin a new day with a fresh attitude.
9. Patience is hard to have, but totally worth it. This one is huuuugee for me. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on in my life, and so when I’m in between jobs and whatnot, I try to plan and put it all together. However, I’ve come to learn that God’s timing is always going to trump mine. I might want things to work out together now, but that hasn’t been the case. Whether it’s for a job, a relationship, a vacation, a plan with someone, you have to be patient. Things will work out as they’re supposed to, and there’s nothing you can do to speed it up or slow it down. Sit back and trust that God knows what He’s doing and remember that His plan is always greater than yours.
8. You are one of a kind. There’s no one else in the whole world like you. You’re unique in every aspect of your being, and regardless of what you think of yourself or what others say about you, you’re perfect. You were made as you are for a reason, and there isn’t a thing about you that needs to change. Love yourself, and embrace your quirks.
7. The struggles make you stronger. Hard times don’t last, but you do. You’ll get through whatever hardships you’re facing, and you’ll come out a better person because of it. You might not understand it, you might not like it, but it’ll change you. You’ll realize what you’ve faced has shaped you into the individual that you are, and without it, you might not have gained the perspective that you now have. View every challenge as an opportunity to grow.
6. Happiness is a choice. You can choose to let your circumstances define you. You can choose to take what comes your way with a happy or poor attitude. Be joyous in trials. It isn’t easy to smile when things get tough, but I promise if you do, things won’t seem so bad. You’ll realize that it isn’t so bad, and even if they are, that you can make it a goal to try to be joyful. It’ll help you, and when other people see you handle yourself that way, it’ll inspire them to do the same. The world needs more happy, so why not be an example to those around you?
5. Who you’ve been isn’t who you have to be. If you don’t like the way your life is going, if you don’t like the choices you’ve made, remember that you can change it. Only you can make a decision to change your life. If you think you can’t because you’ve been in the same habits for too long, you can. Find people that encourage you, support you, and surround yourself with the types of people that reflect the type of person you want to be. You become who you spend the most time with, so choose wisely. It might take some work, but you can change the way you spend your time and your life, and it could be the best decision you ever made.
4. You are important. You might feel unloved, unwanted, and undesirable. Society has plenty of ways to make us second guess ourselves and the way we look and feel and to make us feel like a speck of sand at the beach. You may have tons of friends, or you may have just a few. Regardless, you are important. To the world, you might be just another person, but to one person, you might be the world. You never know who looks up to you. You are an inspiration to someone, I guarantee it. If you’re reading this, then I promise that you’ve somehow impacted my life at some point, and you are important to me.
3. Stopping to take a breather goes a long way. We tend to keep ourselves busy. It is a generation of go, go, go. That’s where I stick out like a sore thumb. I’m more of the old-fashioned, sit back and take a deep breath to stay calm. I watch sunrises and sunsets every chance I get. I stand outside in the dead of winter and listen to the birds chirp. It’s those moments where I find peace and realize what’s truly important in life. That’s a reason I never want to live in the middle of a city, I’d miss the peace and quiet. When we try to push ourselves to our limits to get everything done, it probably isn’t the best that we can do. Taking a little break will help you get refocused and give you energy to persist and accomplish whatever you need to do.
2. You are enough. People will always try to make you feel like you aren’t good enough. I’m here to tell you that they’re 100% wrong. You are more than enough. You have your own gifts and abilities, a sense of humor, skills unlike anyone else. In a world that always points out your flaws, don’t listen. You’re more than a resume, you’re more than a person in a crowd. You are unlike anyone else in this world, and you are the person you are because God created you for a reason. He has a great plan for you, and you might not know what that is now, but you will find it, and when you do, it’ll be better than anything you could’ve ever imagined.
1. You are loved infinitely. In one moment, you are loved more by God than anyone else could ever love you in a whole lifetime. With Valentine’s Day rolling around, we see all sorts of lovey-dovey stuff. Singles can get caught up in that and feel alone, those in relationships can get caught up and compare themselves with others. You’re never alone, and you’re always loved. The Lord that created the heavens and the earth and all of the beautiful things in the world also created you. You. He thought the world needed you, and here you are. There isn’t a single moment that you aren’t loved, and there isn’t anything that you can say or do that will ever make Him love you less.
So, when life hands you lemons, you take them and you squeeze them and you drink the yummy lemonade and appreciate it for all its worth. Ten days until Valentine’s Day, and ten little reminders for you because you deserve happiness, and you deserve to know that there isn’t anyone else in the world like you. Here’s to a countdown. Here’s to love. Here’s to you!